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6 Tips And Tricks For Using Tactical Spotting Scope

If you plan to invest in a tactical spotting scope then it is vital that you know how to get the most out of it. Imagine missing your perfect hunting opportunity because you don’t know how to use your scope.

Whether you’re using it for tactical use, birding, or hunting, these simple tips will turn you into a master spotter. Read on to arm yourself with the top tips and tricks for getting the most out of your scope and never miss a detail.

Tips and Tricks For Using Tactical Spotting Scope

1. Using Mounts and Tripods

A tactical spotting scope tripod is the most important accessory for the scope. Not having a well-mounted tripod will ruin the whole experience. Even if you have the best scope available, if it is poorly mounted then you won’t be able to see. The image will be wobbly and unstable.

Most scopes offer extreme magnification, 60x or more. This means that even the smallest shake in the wind can totally ruin the view. The effect of the lens shaking is amplified by the zoom.

There are some things to consider when using your tripod:

  • Look out for a model with a “pan head” which lets you pan from side to side. This gives you smooth movement and lets you see clearly across the landscape.
  • Use a tripod with adjustable legs. This means that on uneven terrain you will be able to level the scope for an even view.
  • If you want to use your scope from a vehicle you can get a specific tactical spotting scope stand or mount to sit in a car window. These may not be quite as steady, but they are ideal for scoping long distances.

2. Choosing Your Location and Finding Your Targets

This is something you can get better with as time goes on. Using a spotting scope for the first time can be a bit intimidating. Choosing where you are going to sit or stand is crucial, and you need to make sure you have a good view of your target.

Tips to hone in on your target perfectly include:

  • Starting at a lower magnification and gradually focusing to ensure you have a wide field of view.
  • If the sun is not behind your line of vision, use a sunshade. Most scopes have this inbuilt feature to help give eye relief.
  • If you’re a glasses user, experiment with the eyecups to ensure you can see without straining.
  • When you spot your target with the magnification setting relatively low, you can gradually increase it. The zoom ring on your scope will allow you to do this.
  • Refocus when you hit the desired magnification.

Scanning the landscape for your targets is so much easier with a quality scope and tripod. 

3. Understand How the Atmosphere Influences the Vision

The atmospheric conditions in the air can greatly impact the clarity of your image. Humidity is the enemy of clarity. You’ll often get a mirage effect the closer you zoom on a hot and humid day. If the weather conditions are getting in the way, you can test out your scope at a 25x or 30x zoom first. This is likely to retain detail that you might lose at 60x.

It’s hard to judge, so keep experimenting to get the best results. A good method is to spot the same space multiple times in the day. You’ll notice that as it gets warmer or more humid it becomes harder to see things in the distance.

4. The Importance of Resting Your Eyes

Your eyes struggle when focusing for long periods of time. You might experience this when staring at a screen for extended spells. Many spotters find fatigue to be a real problem. Using a scope long-term without resting is a sure-fire way to get yourself an eye strain. 

Eyes have muscles within. When they stay fixed on one image they can get overloaded and tired. Not only can this give you other health complications and trigger migraines, but it also makes you worse at noticing details. 

Some of the best tips for looking after your eyes include using a cap to shield you from the sun while focusing on details, and taking breaks as needed. Other ideas include using artificial tears to help lubricate your eyes. In some instances, a temporary switch to binoculars can be another way to take the pressure off your eyes momentarily.

5. Ensure it is Waterproof and Fogproof

We never know what the conditions are going to be like when we go out hiking, hunting, or using a scope. It is frustrating if you need to see early on a foggy morning. Luckily, you can make sure you get a scope with a both fog proof and waterproof coating. This means you can use them even when the weather is less-than-ideal and still get a clear image.

6. Digiscoping and Camera Fitting

There are loads of reasons for using a spotting scope. Some hunters don’t need to keep any image record, some tactical users will want to gather images and evidence. You may even want to share the incredible detail of an area where you’ve been hiking.

Many scopes are now camera-adaptable. This is called digiscoping. It’s a term for connecting your camera to grab images. Make sure that your camera and scope are compatible if you plan to take pictures. The scope will have an adapter, which may be inbuilt or separate. You can then connect your digital camera and use the scope like a zooming lens to capture images.

If you get a non-digiscoping scope then you can use a universal phone or camera adapter. This can often be sufficient for taking simple images and keeping records. Even our phones are capable of capturing enhanced detail in the modern age.

Conclusion

The tips in this guide will ensure you are always alert and adept at using your tactical spotting scope. Consider the features to make life easier. If you’re able to get a model such as the Sightmark Latitude, with a long range, coated optics, and fog proof capabilities, your life will be much easier.

As you get used to using your scope, you can make sure you never miss anything when surveilling the area.